upset patient
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A new study published in The Lancet shows that using the call bell to get your nurse’s attention is 25% more effective than repeatedly yelling “NURSE!!!” over and over again.  Many health care advocacy groups state this study should settle once the debate that being nice to your nurse indeed gets you a lot farther than treating them like excrement.

upset patientIn the study, 150 angry patients at an emergency department (ED) in Bethesda, Maryland who wanted their nurse’s attention were randomly assigned to either use a call bell to do so, or yell “NURSE!!!” at the top of their lungs at least 10 times.

95% of the patients who used their call bell were attended to within 5 minutes.  In contrast, only 70% of patients were attended to in the “NURSE!!!” arm.  However, an interesting finding of this arm of the study was that these nurses were 500% more likely to administer Haldol and/or Ativan to patients acting in this fashion without even asking what their complaint was, suggesting a potential downside to being a jerk.

The study authors also looked at several other potential “attention-seeking options” to compare them to the standard use of the call bell.  Other options, all found to be less effective, included throwing feces at the wall, calling 911 from your bed, and having a family member stand at the door with their arms folded with their face in a scowl.

“The bottom line,” says one patient advocate, “is if you need help, just use the friggin’ call bell.”

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  • Milli of Dilli

    After picking up the basics of medicine by watching TV shows, I moved to LA, forged a medical school diploma, and somehow found some success in the late 80’s as an event physician for major Hollywood events. However, it all came crashing down while working the 1990 Grammy awards. While “Girl You Know it’s True” was being played live, a stagehand went into cardiac arrest and I was called upon to help. Unfortunately, as I tried to lip-sync CPR instructions, the speaker on my cassette player stopped working and I was exposed for a fraud. After serving time in prison, I went to medical school and residency and I finished training to become an Emergency Medicine physician. Instead of using this training and knowledge for good, I decided to abuse it to become a professional drug seeker. Armed with advanced medical knowledge, my quest remains to go from ED to ED searching out the drug seeker’s Holy Grail: syringes filled with 1mg of hydromorphone, the so-called “Milli of Dilli.” While I am not drug seeking, I have decided to write medical satire posing as a typical First World emergency physician. My website, with my other satirical articles that did not make it into Gomerblog, can be found at http://www.firstworldem.com and my twitter handle is @firstworldem

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